Rules

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July, 2014
Cynthia Lord
2008
Rules

In this novel, Lord presents an engaging and heart-warming story from the perspective of 12-year-old Catherine whose younger brother lives with autism. Catherine works to support her brother in understanding social rules and conventions by compiling a list of rules and exceptions to the rules to help him act as expected across social situations. With the reader Catherine shares her feelings of frustration, protectiveness, and the desire for normality as she works to understand her brother’s invisible differences. Along the way, she befriends Jason, a young man who despite his own significant challenges becomes as much of a support and inspiration for Catherine as she becomes a teacher and true friend to him.
This novel is written for children ages 9 to 12 but is one that we recommend to children and adults alike. A great summer read or book to introduce to your whole class next school year!

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The Incredible Flexible You Curriculum Set, Volume 1

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June, 2014
Ryan Hendrix, Kari Zweber Palmer, Nancy Tarshis, Michelle Garcia Winner
2013
The Incredible Flexible You Curriculum Set, Volume 1

The first set in a two volume series, The Incredible Flexible You Curriculum Set, Volume 1 is a social thinking curriculum developed for use with children ages 4 through 7. Within the curriculum package are picture books, lesson plans, guides for parental involvement, and music that introduce Social Thinking Vocabulary and social-emotional problem solving skills to young children. This is a wonderful resource for classroom or resource teachers of students in kindergarten through grade 2 to teach children the framework for becoming thoughtful social thinkers.
For more information, visit http://www.socialthinking.com/books-products/products-by-age-range/presc...

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When My Worries Get Too Big!

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May, 2014
Kari Dunn Buron, Mitzi Curtis
When My Worries Get Too Big!

When My Worries Get Too Big! is an engaging tool for young children to explore their own feelings with parents or teachers. Through relevant visual examples, the story helps children to think about what makes them calm and what makes them worried or upset. Within the story are pages for the student to write down their own situations and activities and draw what they look like and may be thinking when they are calm or upset.

This book introduces the vocabulary of resource, The incredible 5-Point Scale by Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis by relating feelings to numbers (i.e., identifying that calm and happy means that the child is at a “one”). On the last page, there is a 5 Point Scale worksheet for students to complete with the information they have identified through the story.

It is a great introduction to the 5 Point Scale strategy for managing anxiety for children in primary grades. It is also a helpful tool for parents or educators to ensure that the child’s 5-Point Scale is effective in helping them regulate their own emotions, as it encourages children to use their own words in describing their triggers and feelings and come up with their own strategies for calming down.

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A 5 is Against the Law! Social Boundaries: Straight Up! An honest guide for teens and young adults

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April, 2014
2007
A 5 is Against the Law! Social Boundaries: Straight Up! An honest guide for teens and young adults

A 5 is Against the Law! is an extension of the resource, The Incredible 5-Point Scale by Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis.

A 5 is Against the Law! is written for teenagers and young adults to help them understand their behaviour and what others think about their behaviour. In this book, Dunn Buron introduces The 5-Point Scale and explains how to use it; she provides worksheets for students to use to break down their own behaviour and guess how other people view that behaviour.

She also introduces her readers to the Anxiety Curve to help them understand why their behaviour changes when they are feeling anxious or stressed. She uses examples from social situations relevant to most high school students to explain social boundaries and how to identify those boundaries. In her final chapter, Dunn Buron introduces strategies for calming down, such as exercise and breathing, and explains why they might be helpful.

Throughout the book, Dunn Buron uses language that is simple and straight forward and provides activities for students to complete with an adult or in their social skills group to help customize her tools for their own social situations or behaviours. This resource would be useful for students in high school or college who are cognitively high functioning but need support in understanding personal space, making friends, pursuing romantic relationships and understanding others’ perspectives.

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The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules

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March, 2014
Jennifer Cook O'Toole
The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules

The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-so-obvious Social Guidelines for Tweens and Teens with Asperger Syndrome is written for students ages 10 to 17 who are diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and are aware of their diagnosis. The book stems from O’Toole’s personal experiences as an individual with Asperger’s; the “hidden” or “secret” social rules presented in her book are those that she wished she knew when she was growing up. O’Toole emphasizes how lucky her readers are to be knowledgeable about how they think and to be accessing resources that will help them be socially successful. In doing so, the author maintains a positive tone about Asperger’s and encourages student acceptance of their individual characteristics.

The book is broken down into short chapters focused on each rule and is equipped with visual illustrations to highlight key concepts as well as comic strip practice sessions for interactive learning. What is really unique in this book is the last section that presents readers with Resources You Will Actually WANT to Use. O’Toole presents a list of books, blogs, Twitter feeds, podcasts, and websites that provide more specific and up-to-date information related to the concepts and ideas covered in her book. The resources included are not necessarily geared toward students with ASD and could be a great starting place for children who are not yet informed of or comfortable with their diagnosis but could benefit from social skills instruction.

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Hygiene and Related Behaviours for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum and Related Disorders: A Fun Curriculum with a Focus on Social Understanding

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February, 2014
Kelly J. Mahler
2009
Hygiene and Related Behaviours for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum and Related Disorders: A Fun Curriculum with a Focus on Social Understanding

This resource not only focuses on teaching students how to perform hygiene routines (e.g., brushing their teeth) but why these routines are important. Concepts covered in the curriculum include: why good hygiene is important, key components of basic skills such as using the bathroom, showering, and brushing teeth, as well as behaviours that are deemed “unhygienic” or socially inappropriate, such as burping and picking (e.g., finger nails or teeth). A significant focus of the curriculum is perspective-taking; Mahler recommends that prior to engaging in this curriculum, students should have some understanding that other people have thoughts that are different from their own. To support student understanding of the curriculum, Mahler has developed visual instructional materials, such as worksheets, checklists and pictures, to presents concepts in a concrete fashion.

This resource is intended for high functioning students with an ASD diagnosis in elementary, middle and high school. It is appropriate for either school- or home- based instruction and can be used with groups or individual students. A CD with all of the worksheets and activity materials is included in the back of the book.

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Tasks Galore Literature-Based Thematic Units

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January, 2014
Laurie Eckenrode, Pat Fennell
2013
Tasks Galore Literature-Based Thematic Units

Tasks Galore Literature-Based Thematic Units is a resource meant to demonstrate to teachers how to link themes found in children’s books to engaging learning activities across subject areas. Specifically, it provides an example of theme- or literature-based instruction across the areas of literacy, numeracy, social studies, and science with the purpose of illustrating, “an alternative way to provide information” to young students or those with special needs.

As part of this resource, Eckenrode and Fennel have included a children’s story book entitled, I’m Hungy, I’m Hungry: What Shall I Do?. From the content of their story, the authors present detailed steps and visual examples of hands-on learning activities across curriculum areas that emphasize the vocabulary, concepts, and skills introduced in the picture book. The tasks maintain a functional focus by connecting themes to everyday experiences; they also demonstrate the application of organizational strategies and visual cues that support student learning. In addition to activities centered on their own book, the authors provide guidelines for choosing other children’s books from which to build similar learning activities across curriculum areas.

This resource package would be very useful for early childhood educators and special education teachers looking for ideas to build a thematic and practical curriculum for individual students or their classrooms.

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Movie Time Social Learning: Using Movies to Teach Social Thinking and Social Understanding

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December, 2013
Anna Vagin, Ph.D., Foreward by Michelle Garcia Winner
2013
Movie Time Social Learning: Using Movies to Teach Social Thinking and Social Understanding

Movie Time Social Learning is a unique tool to add to your collection of social thinking resources. A guide for teachers, therapists, and parents, this book presents instructional techniques and lesson plans through which to engage children in “a structured and dynamic thinking process,” as described by author Anna Vagin. A prerequisite for this teaching tool is Michelle Garcia Winner’s social thinking curriculum, as presented in the following resources:

  • Inside Out: What Makes a Person with Social Cognitive Deficits Tick?
  • Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME, 2nd Edition
  • Think Social! A Social Thinking Curriculum for School-Aged Students, 2nd Edition.
  • Vagin’s lessons provide practice to students through the medium of movies in identifying what they have learned and using their newly developed social thinking vocabulary. With the ability to pause, rewind, and replay selected scenes from children’s movies, Vagin allows students to re-watch social interactions while focusing on particular facets of social communication related to Winner’s curriculum. The last chapter of the book also provides guidelines for generalization of the skills practiced through movies into children’s daily lives.
    This resource can be used with high functioning, verbal students from preschool through to the end of high school. Depending on the student’s age, Vagin recommends different movies to ensure interest and relevance of the content across age groups. This resource can be utilized by parents at home to supplement social thinking instruction or teachers and therapists running targeted social skills groups. Regardless of the role of the adult leading the lessons, it is essential that attention be paid to the first six chapters of this resource, which provide comprehensive guidelines for effectively engaging students with this movie-based learning strategy. Specifically, Vagin details how to set up the learning environment, visual supports that can be used during lessons, and ways to phrase questions and cue students so as to elicit as much learning and practice as possible.

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What is a thought?

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November, 2013
Jack Pransky
Amy Kahofer
2012
What is a thought?

This poetic and engaging book introduces children to the amazing, creative power of thought. It is not a book about changing thoughts or changing behaviors, but rather a story to help children see how their own thinking impacts their behaviour and how powerful their thoughts can be.

This book is appropriate for all learners from Kindergarten to Grade 5. The back of the book outlines points of discussion related to the beautiful illustrations on each page. It also provides social thinking lessons associated with particular sections of the book. Lesson plans and handouts are available for printing on a CD included in the back of the book.

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The Incredible 5-Point Scale

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October, 2013
Kari Dunn Buron, Mitzi Curtis
2012
The Incredible 5-Point Scale

This second edition of The Incredible 5-Point Scale is divided into six sections:

  • an overview of how to use the 5-Point scale
  • a discussion about the original 14 scales and how to apply them
  • scales specifically for young children
  • scales for children with classic forms of autism
  • new scales that have been used successfully since the first edition
  • goals and objective related to the use of the scales that can be used on students’ Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs).

This resource is a great tool for classroom and resource teachers, support workers, behavioural interventionists, and parents with students/children ages 4 to 18 years of age. It includes a CD of blank scales and worksheets to allow for easy duplication of the book’s materials.

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